Environmental Issue

In 1954 paper mills had started making carbonless copy paper coated with PCB chemicals. The PCBs were then released into the Fox River Valley because of the manufacturing process. In the end, about thirty million pounds was released into te lower Fox River Vally, and because fish eat the contaminated river sediment it get's into their fatty tissue. A lot of the PCBs that get released, are let into Green Bay at the mouth of the Lower Fox River as water currents carry the river sediment downstream.

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Impact

PCBs can cause developmental problems for infants and children, it messes with their immune and circulatory systems. PCBs can also cause liver damage and increase the risk of some cancers. PCBs can affect the skin and can cause chlornce which is small, pale, yellow skin lesions that may last from weeks to years. PCBs also may cause short-term changes in the activity of the liver. The symtoms are about the same if you have consumed alcoholic beverages or smoked cigarettes for many years. Animal studies also have suggested that PCBs can affect the immune, endocrine and reproductive systems, but these effects don't apply to humans.

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Current Solutions

Tetra Tech is currently starting to clean up the PCBs in the Fox RIver Valley. Over the next 10 years, 13 miles of the Fox River will be dredged or tore up from of the bottom of the river and cleaned, this whole process will cost about $750 million. But the DNR says that the costs of the Fox cleanup will keep rising. It only took about 7 years to get about 30 million pounds of the PCBs into the river and will take about double that to clean it up.







Citations
http://dnr.wi.gov/org/water/wm/foxriver/pcbhistory.html